30450 - FUNDAMENTALS OF MANAGEMENT
Course taught in English
Go to class group/s: 13
The course provides a comprehensive introduction to the economics and management of business firms. After an overview of the main theories of the firm, the course equips students with the main analytical tools used in managerial accounting. Then, the course provides a comprehensive analysis of corporate strategic decisions. The course blends theoretical and analytical approaches with real-life insights and applications from the business sector. Students are encouraged to take an active part in the learning process. The educational objectives of the course are the following: 1. Provide students with knowledge about the role and functioning of business firms in modern economic systems; 2. Gain knowledge on the main theoretical and analytical tools required for the economic analysis of firms' activities, and learn how to use them in practical situations; 3. Provide a comprehensive overview to the wide range of firms' strategic decisions.
- The structure and governance of firms.
- Theories of the firm: stakeholders and shareholders.
- Agency and corporate governance mechanisms.
- Learning to read financial statements (income statement and balance sheet).
- Measuring performance through financial ratios.
- Strategic analysis and managerial decisions.
- Economies of scale and production capacity.
- Economies of scope and diversification decisions.
- Vertical integration.
- The competitive environment: market structures and industries.
- Creating and sustaining the competitive advantage.
- Organizations and values.
- Organizational structures.
- Leaders and top management teams.
Expected Teaching Plan
|Agency and Stakeholder Theories|
|1||3||Intro, What is a firm?||Slides|
|3||3||Corporate governance mechanisms||Shleifer and Vishny (1997)|
|4||2||Case discussion: Patagonia||Case study|
|5||3||Widely-held vs. closely-held firms||Shleifer and Vishny (1997)|
|Case discussion: Parmalat||Case study|
|6||2||Understanding the purpose and the system of financial statements||Walsh: 1|
|7||3||Learning to read a balance sheet||Walsh: 2, 3, 12, Appendix 1|
|8||2||Understanding how the profit and loss account works||Walsh: 4, Appendix 1|
|Introduction to performance measurement||Walsh: 5|
|10||2||Performance Measurement||Walsh: 5, 6, 7|
|11||3||Understanding cash flows||Walsh 8, 9, 10, 13|
|Evaluating asset structure and financial strength|
|Financial leverage and market to book|
|First Partial Exam|
|13||3||Economies of scale and learning||Besanko: Chapter 2|
|14||2||Cost structure and break-even point||Slides|
|15||3||Vertical integration||Besanko: Chapter 3|
|17||3||Alliances, joint ventures and contracting||Besanko: Chapter 4|
|19||3||Market structure and industry analysis||Besanko: Chapter 8|
|20||2||Case discussion: Delta Airlines||Case study|
|21||3||Strategic positioning for competitive advantage||Besanko: Chapter 9|
|22||2||Case discussion: Apple||Case study|
|23||3||Strategy and structure||Besanko: Chapter 13|
|Second Partial / General Exam|
- Know about the role and functioning of business firms in modern economic systems.
- Discern the most relevant tools in management accounting.
- Understand the economic rationales behind a wide array of corporate strategic decisions.
- Apply the theoretical notions of management to the analysis of practical business cases.
- Assess the financial condition of firms (esp. performance and capital structure) by using analytical tools and methods from management accounting.
- Face-to-face lectures
- Exercises (exercises, database, software etc.)
- Case studies /Incidents (traditional, online)
Class sessions will be interactive and will rely upon the ideas and examples provided by class members. A number of exercises, teaching cases, simulations, and practical illustrations will be used. Class will include
- Face-to-face lectures.
- In-class numerical exercises.
- Case-study discussions.
|Continuous assessment||Partial exams||General exam|
Attending and non-attending students will be evaluated based on a written exam. To this end, students have two possibilities:
1) Take the mid-term exam in October and the second partial exam in December or January. If students pass the mid-term, they are admitted to the second part. Please note that the two mid-terms will be equally weighted (50% each) to compute the grade of the written part. The second mid-term (December or January) can be taken only once. Students registered for the exam in December cannot take it again in January if they withdraw or even if they register for the exam and do not show up
2) Take one single exam (general exam) in January; students that fail to pass the exam in the two regular sessions can give again the general exam in any other of the scheduled dates later in the academic year (July or August). Students that have passed the mid-term exam in October may withdraw from the second part in December, by simply not registering for it – or not showing up on that day – and can directly take the general exam. Apart from this case, under no conditions, a passed exam (or part of it) can be taken again in order to improve the grade
In order to pass the exam, students should have:
1) A final grade of at least 18 as the weighted average of the two parts (written – either general or average of the two mid-term exams)
2) Students with less than 18 in the October mid-term exam will not be admitted to the second mid-term (and should take the general exam). Students with less than 18 in the second mid-term will fail even if the weighted average of the two mid-term exams is above 18
Non-attending students take the general exam in January. A final grade of at least 18 as the weighted average of the two parts (written – either general or average of the two mid-term exams)
- Besanko D., Dranove D., Shanley M., Schaefer S. “Economics of Strategy”. Wiley, 2016.
- C. WALSH, Key Management Ratios, Prentice Hall, 2006.
- Case studies from the Harvard Business School Case Library.